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Re:

hrotha said:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/vuelta-a-espana-snubs-aqua-blue-sport-in-favour-of-home-teams-wild-cards/

Nice word choice, CN. "Snubs". Entitled much? :rolleyes:
One of only two wildcard teams to win a GT stage last year. The most or second most successful PCT team in WT races generally last year. This year they get no invite while two new PCT teams both of which are weaker than them get in, alongside a team that buys its spot. Snubbed seems a fair choice of word. The message being sent is that performances in big races mean nothing when it comes to wildcards.

A lot of people here are dismissive of Aquablue basically because teams full of Mediterranean or Colombian journeymen are more glamorous than a team full of anglophone and scandi journeymen, but their results last year speak for themselves. The only PCT team that was stronger than them in big races was Direct Energie. The only PCT team that did so well in smaller races that it arguably outweighs their big wins was Androni (meaning Bernal who isn’t there anymore). Since then Aquablue have made the highest profile espoir signings of any PCT team, again other than perhaps Androni. Their reward has been to not be invited to many of the bigger races they were in last year. I can’t say that I blame their owner for being irritated.

There are seemingly now only two ways to get into a GT, buy a place or be from the home country. You can’t earn a spot. The only exception across all three GTs is Wanty. What’s more, the same teams get most of the major week long race invites, so you can’t even get some of those as a consolation.
 
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
One of only two wildcard teams to win a GT stage last year. The most or second most successful PCT team in WT races generally last year. This year they get no invite while two new PCT teams both of which are weaker than them get in, alongside a team that buys its spot. Snubbed seems a fair choice of word. The message being sent is that performances in big races mean nothing when it comes to wildcards.

A lot of people here are dismissive of Aquablue basically because teams full of Mediterranean or Colombian journeymen are more glamorous than a team full of anglophone and scandi journeymen, but their results last year speak for themselves. The only PCT team that was stronger than them in big races was Direct Energie. The only PCT team that did so well in smaller races that it arguably outweighs their big wins was Androni (meaning Bernal who isn’t there anymore). Since then Aquablue have made the highest profile espoir signings of any PCT team, again other than perhaps Androni. Their reward has been to not be invited to many of the bigger races they were in last year. I can’t say that I blame their owner for being irritated.
You're obviously more then biased towards ABS and it shows. But the facts, e.g. the CQranking speak another language: in 2017 there were 14 ProConti teams ranked higher then ABS, in 2018 so far even 15. Hell, there are Continental teams with more CQ points.

http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/cqRankingTeam.asp?current=0&year=2017
http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/cqRankingTeam.asp?year=2018

So: yes, their results speak for themselves. One or two random breakaway stage wins in bigger races don't make ABS a better team. They are pack fodder, not more or less then most ProConti teams.
 
There’s basically currently no way to exist as a PCT team with any kind of ambition unless you are either from France/Spain/Italy/Belgium or bankrolled by actual billionaires or both. There’s no route to GT wildcards or invites to the more prestigious week long races or even most of the major one day races. You cant earn a decent calendar on the road. The best you can do is operate on the same basis as a Conti team except that you are stuck paying pro salaries and costs for the privilege of riding perhaps a few scattered WT one day races.

(And given the auction approach to Giro wildcards that RCS seems to favour even trying to run a PCT team in Italy is a lottery).
 
I have no problem saying that Aquablue would have been a good choice for a wildcard, I'm taking issue with the use of the verb "snub" and the idea that they SHOULD be invited over other teams with no regard to any other considerations.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/vuelta-a-espana-snubs-aqua-blue-sport-in-favour-of-home-teams-wild-cards/

Nice word choice, CN. "Snubs". Entitled much? :rolleyes:
Ugh yeah, that also rubs me the wrong way. Especially because of the owner of the team who constantly complains about his team not receiving wildcards - just a couple of days ago he cried like a little baby for symphaty on Twitter after getting 'snubbed' from Cali. I can't imagine what he says this time....

For that reason Im glad they don't get to participate. And obviously because a team like Euskadi gets invited instead, thats pretty nice to see a Basque team back in the Vuelta. Burgos as well, its looking a little brighter and with Polartec and the other Basque team, it isn't that shabby.
 
Re: Re:

Bye Bye Bicycle said:
You're obviously more then biased towards ABS and it shows. But the facts, e.g. the CQranking speak another language.
I’m very sorry to hear about your head injury and hope that you make a full recovery.

CQ points are not “the facts”. They are an arbitrary measuring system reflecting a particular opinion. In particular, they notoriously overvalue placings and minor races. The facts are the results themselves. And those really do speak for themselves.

No PCT teams won important classics or a GT last year. Two PCT teams won GT stages last year, one of them being Aquablue. Two PCT teams won other WT races last year, one of them being Aquablue. Five PCT teams won reasonably prestigious non WT stage races last year, one of them being Aquablue. There are numerous other teams that racked up more placings or won more little races. There is only one team (Direct Energie) that did better than them in big races. There’s only one team (Androni) that did so much better than them in small races that you can make a strong case for their season over Aquablue’s one.

It is, of course, big race performance that matters when it comes to whether or not a team belongs in big races. You describe the best of their wins as “random breakaway wins”, but firstly the breakaway is the primary duty of a wildcard team and secondly both of their WT wins were highly impressive solo ones where their rider held off charging favourites from the break. Exactly what kind of wins you think the other PCT teams are capable of taking in major races is unclear - let me remind you that almost none of them won any such races at all. In the case of the Vuelta invites not even their rider’s own mothers could claim that the chosen teams will be stronger.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Oh, Rick Delaney is the name. What a buffoon... this is not the way to go about it.
I’m not a particular admirer of any rich dude with a sports team as a personal hobby, but I can’t really blame him for whining. He’s just discovered that the way the sport is currently set up, there’s no way to run a PCT team from outside the major race host nations as anything more than an overpriced Conti team. Unless of course he is willing to pay more big bucks to buy his team into races.

I’d agree that such moaning is counterproductive if I thought that some other approach would have better results. His team is locked out either way, so he may as well vent about it. If I was forking out the running costs of an ambitious PCT team for the privilege of racing a Conti team’s calendar I don’t think I’d be very gracious about it.
 
Re:

Netserk said:
Or sign riders that organizers would actually really like to see in their race. Like Barguil.
In the current market there are very very few marquee riders who would even consider signing for a PCT team without either an exorbitant salary or guaranteed GT participation or both. Barguil’s move was highly unusual even then. For that matter even a big name signing doesn’t necessarily open wildcard doors at the moment. Ask the teams paying Pippo, Cunego or Coquard how that’s going for them.

It’s better value to just pay the organizers directly.
 
Gigs_98 said:
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
Which is why I proposed that 15 out of 18 would be obliged to turn up, and the teams could only withdraw themselves in order of their finishing position the year before. So if Sky, Quick Step and BMC (the top three in 2017) all chose Guangxi as one of their races to drop, the other 15 would have to go.

Let's hope PT Turkey haven't "paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status": they only got 4 WT teams last year.
 
Re: Re:

Bye Bye Bicycle said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
One of only two wildcard teams to win a GT stage last year. The most or second most successful PCT team in WT races generally last year. This year they get no invite while two new PCT teams both of which are weaker than them get in, alongside a team that buys its spot. Snubbed seems a fair choice of word. The message being sent is that performances in big races mean nothing when it comes to wildcards.

A lot of people here are dismissive of Aquablue basically because teams full of Mediterranean or Colombian journeymen are more glamorous than a team full of anglophone and scandi journeymen, but their results last year speak for themselves. The only PCT team that was stronger than them in big races was Direct Energie. The only PCT team that did so well in smaller races that it arguably outweighs their big wins was Androni (meaning Bernal who isn’t there anymore). Since then Aquablue have made the highest profile espoir signings of any PCT team, again other than perhaps Androni. Their reward has been to not be invited to many of the bigger races they were in last year. I can’t say that I blame their owner for being irritated.
You're obviously more then biased towards ABS and it shows. But the facts, e.g. the CQranking speak another language: in 2017 there were 14 ProConti teams ranked higher then ABS, in 2018 so far even 15. Hell, there are Continental teams with more CQ points.

http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/cqRankingTeam.asp?current=0&year=2017
http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/cqRankingTeam.asp?year=2018

So: yes, their results speak for themselves. One or two random breakaway stage wins in bigger races don't make ABS a better team. They are pack fodder, not more or less then most ProConti teams.
At least they are better than Bardiani that has a Giro WC this year.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Yeah, it still has the obligatory Albasini stage after the Prologue (and maybe even the one after that), but overall it's a rather odd route.
Still, it's nice to have a real MTT in a stage race from time to time, even if the race is already geared towards the climbers.
 
Jun 27, 2013
4,352
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Hope it doesn't turn out to be 100% about the mountain TT.
I'd like to see others being aggressive, but there's not many stages for that.
 
Armchair cyclist said:
Gigs_98 said:
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
Which is why I proposed that 15 out of 18 would be obliged to turn up, and the teams could only withdraw themselves in order of their finishing position the year before. So if Sky, Quick Step and BMC (the top three in 2017) all chose Guangxi as one of their races to drop, the other 15 would have to go.

Let's hope PT Turkey haven't "paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status": they only got 4 WT teams last year.

Well Movistar's boss was just complaining that they should be able to opt out of the cobbled races.

What we have with the new set of WT races is that WT teams can opt out of racing any or all of those and those races have to get a minimum of 10 WT teams to continue to show up to keep their WT status. Maybe expand it a bit?
 
Koronin said:
Armchair cyclist said:
Gigs_98 said:
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
Which is why I proposed that 15 out of 18 would be obliged to turn up, and the teams could only withdraw themselves in order of their finishing position the year before. So if Sky, Quick Step and BMC (the top three in 2017) all chose Guangxi as one of their races to drop, the other 15 would have to go.

Let's hope PT Turkey haven't "paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status": they only got 4 WT teams last year.

Well Movistar's boss was just complaining that they should be able to opt out of the cobbled races.

What we have with the new set of WT races is that WT teams can opt out of racing any or all of those and those races have to get a minimum of 10 WT teams to continue to show up to keep their WT status. Maybe expand it a bit?
Yeah. My suggestion would be to expand the "teams can opt out, races need at least 10 WT teams to keep their WT status" rule to every WT race. Then add a few more rules:

1: Every WT team gets 10 'free passes' to opt out of races.

2: Teams have to inform the organisers of each race if they're going to opt out one month before wild card teams are announced, giving organisers time to select extra wild card teams.
2.b: Special dispensations can be given in case of unforeseen circumstances.

3: Race organisers have to select one extra wild card teams for every WT team opting out.
So, for example if Movistar opts out of Paris-Roubaix, which - going by this year's edition - has seven wild card teams, then ASO will have to pick an eighth wild card team.
 
RedheadDane said:
Koronin said:
Armchair cyclist said:
Gigs_98 said:
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
Which is why I proposed that 15 out of 18 would be obliged to turn up, and the teams could only withdraw themselves in order of their finishing position the year before. So if Sky, Quick Step and BMC (the top three in 2017) all chose Guangxi as one of their races to drop, the other 15 would have to go.

Let's hope PT Turkey haven't "paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status": they only got 4 WT teams last year.

Well Movistar's boss was just complaining that they should be able to opt out of the cobbled races.

What we have with the new set of WT races is that WT teams can opt out of racing any or all of those and those races have to get a minimum of 10 WT teams to continue to show up to keep their WT status. Maybe expand it a bit?
Yeah. My suggestion would be to expand the "teams can opt out, races need at least 10 WT teams to keep their WT status" rule to every WT race. Then add a few more rules:

1: Every WT team gets 10 'free passes' to opt out of races.

2: Teams have to inform the organisers of each race if they're going to opt out one month before wild card teams are announced, giving organisers time to select extra wild card teams.
2.b: Special dispensations can be given in case of unforeseen circumstances.

3: Race organisers have to select one extra wild card teams for every WT team opting out.
So, for example if Movistar opts out of Paris-Roubaix, which - going by this year's edition - has seven wild card teams, then ASO will have to pick an eighth wild card team.

I agree that if you're going to let team opt out of any race on the calendar there has to be a limit of how many they can opt out of. I think around 10 is a fair number. Although I'd give a pass for something crazy happening that forces a team to withdraw from a race after having said they are going.
Definitely extra wild cards are needed for each WT team that opts out. I think most of the WT calendar would only have between 1-3 teams opting out anyway. This of course of the older WT races and not the new ones that I think Strade Bianche is the only one that gets all the WT teams to show up at as it is.
 
Koronin said:
RedheadDane said:
Koronin said:
Armchair cyclist said:
Gigs_98 said:
The problem is that if the UCI now decides that WT teams don't have to participate in WT races there will be races like guangxi where the organizers probably paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status with an abysmal starter field. So the race organizers of small WT races will simply not allow the UCI to change the current system. The obvious solution to the problem is to just don't make small races nobody cares about WT races because the prestigious WT races have a good starter field anyway. Ofc there is also the netserk option to just generally nuke the WT, which wouldn't be so bad either
Which is why I proposed that 15 out of 18 would be obliged to turn up, and the teams could only withdraw themselves in order of their finishing position the year before. So if Sky, Quick Step and BMC (the top three in 2017) all chose Guangxi as one of their races to drop, the other 15 would have to go.

Let's hope PT Turkey haven't "paid the UCI sh*tloads of money to get the WT status": they only got 4 WT teams last year.

Well Movistar's boss was just complaining that they should be able to opt out of the cobbled races.

What we have with the new set of WT races is that WT teams can opt out of racing any or all of those and those races have to get a minimum of 10 WT teams to continue to show up to keep their WT status. Maybe expand it a bit?
Yeah. My suggestion would be to expand the "teams can opt out, races need at least 10 WT teams to keep their WT status" rule to every WT race. Then add a few more rules:

1: Every WT team gets 10 'free passes' to opt out of races.

2: Teams have to inform the organisers of each race if they're going to opt out one month before wild card teams are announced, giving organisers time to select extra wild card teams.
2.b: Special dispensations can be given in case of unforeseen circumstances.

3: Race organisers have to select one extra wild card teams for every WT team opting out.
So, for example if Movistar opts out of Paris-Roubaix, which - going by this year's edition - has seven wild card teams, then ASO will have to pick an eighth wild card team.

I agree that if you're going to let team opt out of any race on the calendar there has to be a limit of how many they can opt out of. I think around 10 is a fair number. Although I'd give a pass for something crazy happening that forces a team to withdraw from a race after having said they are going.
Definitely extra wild cards are needed for each WT team that opts out. I think most of the WT calendar would only have between 1-3 teams opting out anyway. This of course of the older WT races and not the new ones that I think Strade Bianche is the only one that gets all the WT teams to show up at as it is.
I think it's a decent idea, though I think opt outs should be split between stage races and one day races, maybe with no opting out of GTs and Monuments.
 

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